Rolling Admissions: Benefits and Drawbacks

How Do Rolling Admissions Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

Did you catch one of our recent blogs where we discussed the difference between early action vs. early decision? Today, we’re going to talk about another important admissions process known as rolling admission.

First, let’s recap about early action and early decision applications. 

Early action means a student is notified of their acceptance under a non-binding agreement, and they don’t have to make a decision right away. The deadline is typically May 1 but this can vary.

On the other hand, early decision means a student’s acceptance signifies a binding decision to attend that institution. This agreement is usually made once a student reviews and accepts a financial aid offer (if there is one).

Learn more about early action vs. early decision college applications here

What are rolling admissions? 

Early action and early decision admissions have hard deadlines. Rolling admissions, on the other hand, typically don’t. 

Instead, students can usually submit their application between September and May of senior year, which is a much larger window than most admission processes utilize—but that doesn’t make colleges with rolling admissions any less competitive. 

A Rolling admission applicant tends to hear back about their application within a few weeks. Usually, rolling admissions operate on a first-come, first-served basis. That means colleges will continue to review applications until their class sizes have been met. 

You should keep in mind that although the application window is larger, there are still important deadlines to be aware of for applying to colleges who use rolling admissions. 

That’s just another reason it’s so important to be aware of college application deadlines. 

They can also impact your student and financial aid—here’s how.

To many students, this large window is incredibly appealing. But like anything else, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages. 

To help you decide if a school with a rolling admission program might be right for you, let’s talk more about the benefits and drawbacks.

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There are plenty of good reasons to apply to a school with rolling admissions. Here are some qualities that make it the right decision for some students: 

  • For colleges without rolling admissions, you’re out of luck once you’ve missed the application deadline. But thanks to their larger window, rolling admissions can be a great option for last-minute applicants.
  • You tend to hear back sooner.
  • Applications are judged upon receipt which can mean less competition but only for early applicants.
  • Applications are non-binding (unlike early decision applications) so you’re able to weigh your options. 


On the other hand, rolling admissions aren’t right for everyone: 

  • Available spots can fill up quickly. Even though the application window is larger, this can mean if you don’t apply early, you’re out of luck. 
  • The longer you wait to apply, the more competitive the admissions process gets.
  • You might be forced to make a decision sooner than you’d like to.

The admissions process isn’t the only thing to consider when applying for post-secondary. 

Things like free laundry can matter too! Here’s more on that.

Colleges with rolling admissions.

Currently, there are no Ivy league schools that utilize rolling admissions, but plenty of other great schools do. A Rolling admission option is also popular for many law schools. Some schools might accept rolling admissions applications for certain programs, while others have firm deadlines.

Some colleges with a rolling admission program include: 

  1. Alaska Pacific University
  2. Barclay College
  3. Daemen College
  4. Goshen College
  5. Kent State University
  6. King College
  7. Minot State University
  8. Montana State University
  9. North Park University
  10. Notre Dame College
  11. Ohio State University
  12. Penn State York
  13. Rivier University
  14. Simpson University
  15. Stillman College
  16. University of Baltimore
  17. University of Central Florida
  18. University of West Alabama
  19. Xavier University
  20. York College

Whether you’re applying with rolling admission, early action, or early decision, there’s help available for the college admissions process! 

If you’re looking for one-on-one guidance to help you get into (or pay for) college, click here for help. 

Want to see more posts like this? Don’t miss these: 

Living off-campus: pros and cons
College application checklist
7 ways to support your child during the college application process

Early Action vs. Early Decision: What’s the Difference? And Important Dates You Need to Know

Early Action vs. Early Decision: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between early action vs. early decision when it comes to college acceptance?

With decision release and application deadline dates fast approaching for early action (EA) and early decision (ED) plans, a lot of questions have come up about what makes the two different. On the same note, prospective students are curious about exactly when they’ll be notified about their acceptance.

Before we get to some important early decision and early action decision release dates, let’s go over exactly what each term means. 

Are you struggling to find the right college? Sign up for my FREE upcoming master class!

What is early action?

Early action plans mean a student is notified of their acceptance, but under a non-binding agreement. That means a student doesn’t have to formally commit to a school or make their decision until the typical date (usually May 1). 

Early action applications are typically sent in around November, and students tend to hear back sometime in January or February. 

What is early decision? 

Unlike early action plans, early decision plans do signify a binding agreement between a student and a college. That means the student must attend that college if they’re accepted. This comes after reviewing and accepting an offer of financial aid for that school if there is one. 

Because of what early decision plans entail, a student can only apply to one school for early decision, but can still apply to other schools with regular admission. 

Early decision applications are usually sent in around mid-November, and students usually hear back by December. But we’ll get to some more specific dates later.

Which schools have early action and early decision plans?

In the United States, there are around 450 schools with EA or ED plans, and some with both. 

Some schools have what’s known as single-choice early action. This means a student must not apply for either EA or ED to any other school. 

When should students apply for early admission?

Early admissions aren’t right for every student. But in some cases, it can pose significant advantages. 

A student must have researched colleges extensively, and made a list of schools that are a good fit socially, academically, vocationally, and financially. 

Without doing the proper research before applying for early decision to a college, a student risks committing themselves to a school that really isn’t the right choice for them. To help you make sure a school is the right fit, click here. 

But now, back to those advantages of EA and ED plans…

The college application and admissions process is notoriously stressful for students and parents alike. (Though it doesn’t have to be! Here are some ways to help your child through the college application process). 

One great thing about early admissions and early decision plans is you can get some of that stress out of the way sooner and enjoy the rest of your senior year. It also means you have more time to secure housing and figure out some of the logistics of attending college. 

These application dates can impact your student and financial aid. You can read more about that right here. 

Early action and early decision release dates for the class of 2024.

Now, let’s get to some important dates for early action and early decision schools. These are just a few examples of the schools with EA and ED plans and their decision release dates.

ED application decision release dates

  • Amherst College: December 15
  • Boston College: December 25
  • Brown University: Mid-December
  • Columbia University: Mid-December
  • Cornell University: Mid-December
  • Duke University: December 15
  • Harvard University: Mid-December
  • New York University: December 15
  • Yale University: Mid-December

EA application decision release dates: 

  • Babson College: January 1
  • Berklee College of Music: January 31
  • Tulane University: December 15
  • University of Chicago: Mid-December 
  • University of Michigan: December 24
  • University of Notre Dame: December 24
  • Wheaton College: January 15

Which schools are you planning to apply for early decision or early application? Let me know in the comments below. 

Are you looking for one-on-one guidance for how to get into (or pay for) college? Click here for help. 

If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss these either: 

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Colleges with Free Laundry: A Time and Money Saving Consideration 

How The Different College Application Deadlines Can Impact Your Student and Financial Aid

College application deadlines are not the most exciting topic to consider as your teen prepares for college during high school, but it’s a very important topic one. It’s important because it can make a big difference in terms of what you pay for college as well as impact your student’s chances on getting admitted.

Each year there are different application deadlines that your teen can use for their applications for college. They sound similar, so it can be confusing to understand how they are different. I’ll explain how they can impact your teen and their college future.

One of the deadlines is simply the regular decision deadline that happens every year,  usually around January. The thing to remember is that application deadlines are very unforgiving, so your teen needs to make sure that they meet that deadline.

Regular decision is a standard deadline, and another deadline you may hear about is the “rolling deadline”. The rolling deadline means that your teen can submit their application at any time. Usually they’ll get a notice back of a decision about three or four weeks later (but sometimes it could be sooner, depending on the time of year).

The rolling deadline is one that doesn’t have a specific date. So, it could start perhaps as soon as October and keep going until the final deadline, which means that all the applications have to be in by that time. Or it can be set to go as late as the spring of senior year.

Now that we’ve covered standard and rolling deadlines, I want to review two other deadlines that can be a bit confusing because they start with the same word. One of these deadlines is the “early action deadline”. Early action is non-binding, which means that your teen can apply to an early action deadline and usually they’ll find out the decision perhaps around December. It gives them a little bit of ease, especially if they do get admitted, because they’ll know pretty much where their application stands. Then, if they want to apply to some additional colleges, they still have time to do that under the regular deadline.

The fourth deadline I want to talk about also starts with early, and it’s called “early decision deadline”. Early decision is more strict because this deadline is binding. Every year, there are a lot of families that will apply under the early decision deadline. With the early decision deadline, because it’s binding, you cannot apply to any other colleges that have any type of restrictive deadlines. You want to make sure that you read the fine print on that.

The early decision deadline is one that the parents have to sign off on. Also, the school counselor will be notified as well. The key thing with the early decision deadline is that it means that if your teen is admitted, they must go to that college, regardless of financial aid. This is where sometimes I will see families who decide to do the early decision deadline, because that’s the only one that a particular college offers for them (either early decision or regular).

Generally with the earlier application rounds, the admissions rate is a bit more favorable. Families that want to make sure that their teen has the best shot in terms of admissions will often go ahead and exercise that option to use the early decision deadline. But soon after, if the decision comes back positive in December, you have a short window of time to withdraw all of your other applications and to submit your deposit to hold your space.

That’s a really serious deadline. Sometimes families will say, “Oh, I didn’t know. I thought we would be eligible for financial aid.” They get a surprise that they don’t get any additional aid and then it’s trying to figure out, “Okay, how do we pay for it?”

It’s a deadline that I wouldn’t take lightly. It’s certainly your family’s choice if you decide to do the early decision round, but know that it means that your teen will be going if they get admitted, regardless of what the financial aid is.

At least with the early action option, you have a chance to look through the financial aid offers from other colleges as well. On the flipside, some colleges will offer only the early decision deadline, and then others may have an early action, or they can also have an early decision as well. So you want to be sure you know the deadlines for your student’s college of choice when they begin applying!

One thing I will add about the very late regular decision deadlines is that sometimes colleges will say the deadline is June 1st. They will be filling those seats before then,  so for colleges that may have a very late regular decision deadline doesn’t mean that you can apply on May 31st still find seats available. It’s a point to keep that in mind when your student is scheduling when to submit applications.

Do you have questions about application deadlines and helping your student get into their dream school? Application deadlines can make a big difference in terms of what you could end up paying. In some cases, it can also make a difference as to where your teen gets admitted. I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions or thought about the process!

If you’re a parent of a high school student preparing for college, I have created a free online training class that answers the most common questions I get from parents: “How to Find The Right College.” It offers insight into the college application process as well as how to get money for college. You can check it out and register for it HERE.

7 Ways to Support Your Child During the College Application Process

How to support your child during the college application process

There’s a fine line between being overbearing and being just supportive enough to let your child thrive during the college application process.

Knowing when to let go and when to hold on can be hard. But when it comes to our children, we never really let go, do we?

Many parents find it difficult to maintain a balance between providing the right amount of support during college applications and being too involved.

Because of this, I often see parents and children getting burnt out by the college application process.

In some cases, well-meaning parents might inadvertently hinder their child’s odds of getting into the school of their dreams.

When we can support our children through the college application and admissions process, but still allow them to take control and thrive, that’s when families really win.

With the right plan in place, you can help your child in a way that works for both of you!

That’s why I wrote this article.

Here are seven ways parents can support their children during the college application process.

1. Ask your child how you can help.

Some students prefer their parents to be more involved in the college application process.

Some students prefer their parents to be more involved in the college application process.

The best way to figure out how to help your child starts with asking them how, and how much help they want in the first place!

Ask them about specific tasks you can help with and what the best way to make them feel supported would be.

But remember, this process is as new for your child as it is for you. It will be a “learn as you go” type scenario, and your role may change over time.

2. Remember this is their first significant step toward independence.

Your child may have a job, a driver’s license, and other important responsibilities, but the college application process is a major step in your child’s independence.

For many students, this is their first big step in that direction!

This is a great time for your child to gain confidence in their ability to do important things.

You can be there for them as a cheerleader and a shoulder to lean on, but it isn’t your job to be involved in all of the details when your child applies to colleges.

3. Get help and offer resources.

You can be your child’s support system without having to manage every step of the college application process!

To avoid getting over-involved and to increase your child’s chances, consider hiring professional help.

When you leave some of this work to a professional, you can take comfort knowing your child has the help they need, and you can be there to help them in other ways.

Whether it’s tutoring, coaching with essays, or any other part of the college application process, there is help available, and offering this help to your child is a fantastic way to support them.

4. Remember your child isn’t you.

When your child is applying to colleges, you might experience a sort of deja vu from your own college experience. Perhaps you wish you had done things differently, or wish you could do it all again.

Either way, remember that your child’s college application is different than yours.

Projecting your own opinions and experiences onto your child isn’t necessarily the best way to support them.

Let them have their own college experience!

5. Don’t hinder the creative process.

Parents can inadvertently hinder their child’s creative process when they’re working on college application essays.

Perhaps you’re dead set on your child choosing one topic for a college essay when they feel really strongly about another.

it is ultimately their choice!

You can offer your opinion, but leave it at that and don’t force your own ideas onto your child.

Allow your child to explore their creative side. Unique essays and applications help your child stand out.

6. Motivate, don’t dictate.

When you motivate your child during the college process rather than dictating their every move, it helps them establish their independence and feel empowered in their choices.

One way to do this is by encouraging them to make college campus visits and maybe even going with them.

Since you know their preferences and tendencies so well, you can help your teen compare and contrast college options. Walking a campus, touring with a student guide, and speaking with faculty can offer assurance in ways a brochure or website never can.

This is also a way to bond and build great memories with your child!

Don’t miss these other tips for making college campus visits with your child.

7. Just listen.

A parent’s ideal role during the college application and admissions process is best described as the supporter. And one of the best ways to support your child is by just listening.

As tempting as it may be to offer advice and always try to fix things, sometimes your child just needs someone to listen to their fears, disappointments, and successes!

Lending a listening ear can strengthen your bond and provide a critical source of support for your child during this time.

Putting it all together.

Every child, parent, and family is different, and the best way to support a child during the college admissions process can vary.

But when you focus on these key things, you will help make the college application process easier on both you and your child:

  • Speaking with your child about how you can help.
  • Remembering this is their first step toward major independence.
  • Offering professional help and resources.
  • Not hindering their creative process.
  • Motivating, not dictating.
  • Just listening!

If you are a busy parent who wants to help your college-bound child reach their full potential, don’t miss my “Get In and Get Money” Workshop!

Need a little more guidance?

For one-on-one support and other resources to help you or your child get into (or pay) for college, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about helping your child with the college admissions and application process, you’ll want to check out these articles too:

What To Do When Your Teen Hates Reading
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Will This Activity Help My Teen Get into College?


Top 5 tips for best college interview

college interview tips that get in

Many colleges may offer interviews with an admissions representative or alumnus as part of their college application process. The college interview is an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know the student beyond their grades and test scores.

There are 2 types of interviews – evaluative and informational. The evaluative interview is used to learn more about the student and whether they’re a good fit for the college. The informational interview is more casual and not used to evaluate whether the student is admitted.

Interviews are time-consuming for the colleges, so if the admissions representative or alumnus is making the effort to meet with a student, that interview will likely be used to confirm an admissions decision, i.e. evaluative. For the Ivy League and many selective colleges, an interview may be listed as “recommended”, which is a polite way to say that it will be used. Cornell makes clear that interviews are required in the application process for its Architecture program.

Students should take the interview seriously, even if it’s considered “optional”, “recommended,” or “not required.” It’s a chance for students to show their unique qualities beyond the written application. These tips will help students be prepared for their best college interviews.

1. Prepare questions in advance to ask during the interview – not having any questions may show a lack of curiosity and/or interest in the college, i.e. red flag. Have at least 3-5 questions ready to ask. These questions can be related to academics, majors, social life, or financial aid. Just make sure the questions are thoughtful and not easily found on the website!

2. Review and practice sample questions. Mock interviewing with a teacher or counselor is a good way to practice how to respond to different types of questions. There’s no guarantee of having the exact same questions during the actual interview, but, at the least, the student may be more relaxed after the mock session. Here are a few sample questions to review and practice:

  • What interested you in our college?
  • How have you changed during high schools?
  • What is the best advice anyone has given you?
  • Who is your hero and why?
  • What would you do differently if you were starting high school?


3. Take activities resume to the interview. The interviewer may or may not ask for it, but having the activities resume handy will be a good reminder of past activities and awards.

4. Tour the campus prior to the interview, if possible. Taking a tour before the interview would be a good way to refresh what’s already been learned about the college and perhaps get a student perspective. Likewise, the tour may generate new questions to stimulate the conversation during the interview.

5. Dress appropriately. Slacks or khaki pants with belt, dress shirt or polo for guys is appropriate. Girls can wear knee-length dresses or skirts, a dress shirt or polo. I strongly suggest avoiding anything sagging, revealing, “sexy” or very high heels. A good rule of thumb for what to wear to your college interview would be . . . if the interviewer remembers what you wore . . . then it was probably inappropriate.

Which college(s) are you interviewing with? Is it with an alumnus or admissions representative? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.